Australia politics live: Scott Morrison faces fallout over net zero ‘plan’, Treasury in the hot seat | Australia news

Welcome to Wednesday.

It’s the day after the “plan”, which is a very generous way of describing whatever it was we were presented with yesterday, and Scott Morrison is feeling confident.

There wasn’t a lot of substance to what the government offered. Basically, it says if we change nothing, do nothing different, but embrace a target, then emerging technologies will solve all our problems. Then there is the “technology not taxes” line which is an absolute furphy, because not only is no one actually talking taxes, but the cost of the government plan – including whatever it is Morrison offered the Nationals – will be paid for, by you. Through taxpayer dollars. Raised by taxes.

But Morrison is happy because he’s solved a political problem. And you can tell that from the media he chose to do yesterday – Perth radio 6PR and Sky News after dark with Paul Murray. That’s the audience he felt he needed to speak to, because that’s the audience he wants to reassure that nothing is changing. After spending the better part of 10 years talking down targets and ridiculing attempts to drag this country into some sort of climate action, Morrison then had to reassure those people who believed it he was still the same guy – but now he was pragmatically approaching an inevitable economic future.

But Murph puts it much more eloquently than me:

We’ll bring you the ongoing fall out from the “plan” (a word that Morrison and Angus Taylor muttered 95 times in 50 minutes during their press conference yesterday – almost as if the word had been focus group-approved) as Morrison prepares to leave for the Glasgow climate conference tomorrow.

It’s also estimates, where Treasury will be in the hot seat. Expect more questions to be taken on notice. Morrison said he intends to hand down another budget next year – which, given the election deadline, would mean either moving it forward to April and holding the election in May, or just not being able to fulfil his intentions. But Morrison is already trying to shape up the election campaign as one on “who do you trust to guide the economy through this” which is a riff on John Howard’s campaign against Mark Latham. Morrison gets a lot of advice from Howard, so it’s no surprise he’s going for a Howard callback. But given *gestures at last few years* which includes the bushfire response, the pandemic response, the vaccine delays, the response to Brittany Higgins’ allegations, the ANAO audits (the list goes on), “who do you trust” is pretty bold.

Mike Bowers is with you, as is Katharine Murphy (who after more than 20 years covering climate policy is still recovering from whatever that was yesterday), Paul Karp, Sarah Martin and Daniel Hurst. You have me, Amy Remeikis on the blog. I’ve had three coffees and that’s nowhere near enough.


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